Australia will establish a national space agency to grow its space industry, the government has said. The nation is one of the only developed countries in the world not to have a space agency. Acting Industry Minister Michaelia Cash said it was "crucial" that Australia capitalised on the rapid growth of the global space industry. It follows a domestic industry review which had called for a dedicated body to be established. "The agency will be the anchor for our domestic co-ordination and the front door for our international engagement," Ms Cash said.
BEIJING – China will launch its second experimental space laboratory late Thursday and another manned space mission next month, the government said, part of a broader plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022. Advancing China's space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles. China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis. In a manned space mission in 2013, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, the Tiangong 1, or "Heavenly Palace." China will launch the Tiangong 2 just after 10 p.m. on Thursday, a space program spokeswoman told a news conference that was carried live from the remote launch site in Jiuquan, in the Gobi desert.
China has launched a pair of astronauts into space on a mission to dock with an experimental space station. The astronauts will remain on board for 30 days in preparation for the assembly of a full facility six years from now. The Shenzhou 11 mission took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northern China aboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket. It will dock with the Tiangong 2 space station within two days, and its crew will conduct a variety of experiments during their stay. Tiangong-2 carries 14 experiments, including atmospheric sensing instruments that can detect air pollution.
China sent its first woman into outer space, prompting a surge of national pride as the rising power takes its latest step towards putting a space station in orbit within the decade. At a cost of more than 150 billion, the International Space Station is the most expensive object ever built. This price tag is more than double the combined costs of China's Three Gorges Dam, Boston's Big Dig and the Chunnel. But as noted by CNN, funding for the International Space Station may run out in the early 2020s. That happens to be around the same time that the Chinese are expected to complete their own space station, potentially leaving the Asian power with the sole operating lab in the heavens.
A space station supply ship is set to blast off Tuesday night with a commercial-quality 3-D printer for astronaut as well as public use -- for a price -- and the makings for a large-scale fire. The blaze is for scientific purposes only and won't ignite until the unmanned craft is clear of the International Space Station at mission's end. Officials say it will be the second-biggest space fire ever, surpassed only by the Russian Mir blaze that nearly snuffed out an entire crew in the mid-1990s. Orbital ATK's capsule, named Cygnus after the swan constellation, holds nearly 8,000 pounds of station supplies for NASA. One-fourth of that is scientific research.